Patricia Richardson is best known for her portrayal of Jill Taylor on the long running series "Home Improvement," in which she co-starred with Tim Allen. For her work on the series, she received nominations for four Emmys® and two Golden Globes® as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. While performing in "Home Improvement," she also co-hosted the Emmy® Awards with Ellen DeGeneres. In 2009, the members of the cast of "Home Improvement" received a Fan Favorite Award from the TV Land Awards. She has also received a Vision Award and a Women In Film Award in Texas.
Richardson starred as Dr. Andy Campbell in Lifetime Television's "Strong Medicine" for three seasons and received two Commendations from the Prism Awards for her work in the show. In "The West Wing," she had a recurring role for two years as Sheila Brooks, Alan Alda's Chief of Staff. For her first leading role in a film, "Ulee's Gold," directed by Victor Nunez and co-starring Peter Fonda, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
Previously, Richardson garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe's mother in the CBS miniseries "Blonde." She was also seen playing twins in the Franchise Pictures production "Viva Las Nowhere," co-starring Danny Stern and James Caan, which was released on video under the title "Dead Simple" and won a Seattle Film Festival Award. She received more great reviews for Lifetime's "Sophie and the Moonhanger," co-starring Lynn Whitfield and Jason Bernard, which garnered Cable Ace Nominations, and "Undue Influence" with Brian Dennehy. Other films include "Lost Angels," "In Country," and "Beautiful Wave." She was brought out to Los Angeles from New York after several years of doing theatre by first Norman Lear and then Alan Burns to do three different series prior to "Home Improvement:" "Double Trouble" for Norman Lear and then "Eisenhower and Lutz" and "FM" for Alan Burns.
Richardson took some time off from her career to get her kids through school and returned to work a few years ago when the youngest went off to college. Patricia has happily returned east to do theatre. She did "The Graduate" first for the Cape Theatre, then the World Premiere of Alfred Uhry's "Apples and Oranges," directed by Lynne Meadow for MTC and the Alliance Theatre last fall and will go back to Off-Broadway to star in "I Forgive You Ronald Reagan" at the Samuel Beckett Theatre. She has starred in three Hallmark Channel Original Movies in the last year, including "Smart Cookies."
Richardson was born in Bethesda, Maryland and was one of the four daughters of a Naval aviator, who became an aeronautical engineer and corporate executive. They moved frequently around the country while she was growing up. She went to college at Southern Methodist University where she received a BFA in Acting and met several people she ended up working with later in New York, such as the playwrights Jack Hefner ("Vanities") and Beth Henley ("Crimes of the Heart"). Richardson originated parts in New York in Henley's "The Wake of Jamie Foster" and "The Miss Firecracker Contest," as well as "Loose Ends" by Michael Weller, "Fables For Friends" by Mark O'Donnell, and "Cruise Control" by Kevin Wade. She received her Equity card from Arthur Laurents when she first arrived in New York and auditioned for "Gypsy" with Angela Lansbury. Richardson understudied "Gypsy" for a year, but never got to go on for the part.
Richardson is the proud mother of three now grown people: Henry, Joe, and Roxie Baker. Joe is in his final year in the Gallatin Program at NYU, while his twin sister Roxie will be finishing up at Boston University in the next year as well. Henry is a graduate of the University of Texas and is currently a producer of "Trending Now" at Yahoo. Patricia Richardson is the National Spokesperson for CUREPSP and serves on their Board of Directors. PSP is the rare brain disease that killed her father and she has been working to raise money and awareness for all brain disease, particularly the "tau" related ones such as PSP, Alzheimer's, and TBI.